Editors' pick

Fireworks on the National Mall

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Editorial Review

Every year hundreds of thousands of people set out their blankets and chairs in America's back yard to watch the fireworks over the Reflecting Pool. Because many of those people spend the day there, picnicking and playing on the grounds of the Washington Monument, spaces become scarce by the afternoon. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:10 and end at 9:27.

The show pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln and to astronauts and their support teams at NASA. The "Battle Hymn of the Republic" will play with a special sequence of blue and gray shells to celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. Additionally, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. A fireworks display choreographed to the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey" will unfold with a sound clip from astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Preceding the fireworks, the National Park Service's Independence Day concert will begin at 6 p.m. on the southwest corner of the Washington Monument Grounds, near the intersection of 17th Street and Independence Avenue SW.

Parking, Transportation and Security on the Fourth

Security checkpoints for the Mall open at 10 a.m. The use of Metro or other public transportation is strongly encouraged, as parking near the National Mall is extremely limited. Metro service will run from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m.

The rain date for the fireworks display is July 5.